Talking to family and friends

Sharing the news that you have cancer with others is a personal decision.

You may be asking yourself what to do or how much to reveal. Some people with cancer choose to tell their loved ones only. Others find it helps when other people they have regular contact with also know about their diagnosis. You may find it difficult to do so, but it will allow you to feel surrounded by their support and open up the possibility for them to offer their help when you need it.

Reasons why people might tell others about their cancer

  • It's too big and scary to deal with alone.

  • It makes it possible for more people to give support.

  • It gives family and good friends a chance to say how they feel.

Reasons why people might choose not to tell others about their cancer

  • They're not ready to talk about it.

  • They're afraid that other people will be scared.

  • They think other people may not want to be around them.

  • They don’t want their diagnosis to burden others.

  • Saying the words out loud makes the cancer more "real."

  • They don't want others to feel sorry for them or change how they treat them.

Whether you decide to tell one person or more people you know about your diagnosis, being able to talk to someone can make you feel better, especially if you are having a tough time coping. The person or people you confide in can share their strength and hear your concerns.  

Talk to someone who's been there

If you are feeling a sense of detachment or isolation even if you are surrounded by friends and family who care for you, connecting with someone who’s been through a blood cancer may give you the reassurance you need.